Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

Luvo and Ryk inspire UFS student leaders
2017-10-13

 Description: Luvo  and Ryk  Tags: Luvo Manyonga, Ryk Neethling, IAAF World Championships, World Champion, Khomotso Mamburu 

 Ryk Neethling and Luvo Manyonga have a special bond.
 The sporting duo shared their inspiring stories with student
 Leaders of the University of the Free State.
 Photo: Kaleidoscope Studios


Dreams can come true and Luvo Manyonga’s story is the perfect example. It would make the ideal movie script. This is opinion of the businessman and former international swimmer Ryk Neethling.
 
The Olympic gold medallist and former World Champion and Manyonga shared their stories with new student leaders of the University of the Free State (UFS).

“I am so proud of this guy,” Neethling said. “And we are just half-way through this movie. The best is yet to come.” The 26-year-old Manyonga is the current Olympic silver medallist and World Champion in long jump. But he had to overcome huge obstacles as a former tik or crystal meth addict.

Not an easy road
The duo were guests for a session, Inspirational Stories of Lived Humanising Experiences, which was part of the university’s Student Leadership Training weekend for Student Representative Councils, Residence committees, Residence Assistants and Association Representatives in the Economic and Management Sciences Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Manyonga, who is dating the Kovsie netball player Khomotso Mamburu, talked about growing up in Mbekweni township in Paarl, about his career and his setbacks.

After finishing fifth at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011 he started partying when he returned home. “I hooked up with the wrong friends and they introduced me to tik,” he said. “They told me: ‘Hey dude, you are drunk. Just take a hit and it will sober you up.’ I took it and it was nice, but that is where it started.”

Be surrounded by positive people  
Manyonga lost all his money and his sport was also suffering because of his addiction. “At the beginning of 2014 I started to realise that I was throwing my life away and I needed help. I went to reach out to people close to me and told them I had a problem.” He thanked Neethling, who helped him when he was at his lowest, his mother, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Tuks Sport and the High Performance Centre where he trains for the influence on his life.

Neethling’s advice to student leaders was to dream big, work hard, expand your network and find a mentor you can learn from.

“Always surround yourself with positive people,” he said. “You can succeed if you stay positive.”

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept